Ella Browning

Ella Browning

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Ella Browning

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Start Year

2016 (Cohort 3)

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PhD Project
PhD Title

Understanding the impacts of environmental change on bat populations using acoustic monitoring methods

Research Theme

Biodiversity and Ecology

Primary Supervisor
Primary Institution


Secondary Supervisor
Secondary Institution



Monitoring biodiversity is increasingly important for determining the impacts of environmental change on species and identifying measures to prevent and reverse declines in populations. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) is an increasingly viable tool for assessing population trends and conservation interventions. Bats are routinely monitored with passive acoustics and are thought to have undergone widespread declines across Europe. Recent analysis of data collected in the UK and Europe suggest that monitored species populations are stable or increasing. The drivers of these historic and recent trends are unclear, as are the robustness of some of these. In this thesis I will use PAM data collected via citizen science surveys in the UK and Europe, testing the robustness of UK trends spaitio-temporally and exploring possible drivers for these. Trends in European species will then be assessed using data from iBats, a car based passive acoustic citizen science survey. Whilst the data collected by these citizen surveys are valuable, the PAM methods used require updating, in part because a subset of species present are able to be monitored. I, therefore, review emerging opportunities and challenged in the PAM field and test the efficacy of a recently developed, low cost acoustic sensor, which presents exciting opportunities for increasing the temporal and geographic scale of bat surveys providing valuable information on the state of bat populations globally and enabling impacts of anthropogenic environmental change on bats and wider biodiversity to be identified and mitigated.

Policy Impact
Background Reading


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